Bank of England might lower unemployment threshold - Weale

LONDON Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:41pm GMT

An actor in a bowler hat is silhouetted in front of the Bank of England during the filming of a television programme in central London September 19, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

An actor in a bowler hat is silhouetted in front of the Bank of England during the filming of a television programme in central London September 19, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England might lower the unemployment rate threshold at which it would consider whether to raise interest rates, BoE policymaker Martin Weale said on Friday.

"If it looks as though, as some of my colleagues expect to happen, that the lost productivity ground is being made up, and that the economy is growing nicely but not at a stonking pace, we could certainly think of, as Charlie Bean said, moving the threshold," Weale told reporters after a speech.

"It all depends what the economy looks like when we get to 7 percent."

The BoE, in an attempt to spur Britain's economy fully back to health, has said it will consider raising interest rates from their record low of 0.5 percent once unemployment falls below 7 percent, from 7.6 percent now.

BoE deputy governor Charlie Bean suggested last month that the threshold could be lowered if domestic inflation pressures appeared muted and BoE Governor Mark Carney said this week that such a change could not be ruled out.

(Reporting by William James, writing by William Schomberg; Editing by John Stonestreet and Sonya Hepinstall)

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